•  451
    Cinematic Realism Reconsidered
    Polish Journal of Philosophy 6 (1): 57-68. 2012.
    The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the debate about cinematic motion in terms of the necessity for reception conditions in art. I shall argue that Gregory Currie’s rejection of weak illusionism – the view that cinematic motion is illusory – is sound, because cinematic images really move, albeit in a response-dependent rather than garden-variety manner. In §1 I present Andrew Kania’s rigorous and compelling critique of Currie’s realism. I assess Trevor Ponech’s response to Kania in §2,…Read more
  •  113
    Better no longer to be
    South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1): 55-68. 2012.
    David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both anti-natalism and pro-mortalism . This conclusio…Read more
  •  92
    A New/Old Ontology of Film
    Film-Philosophy 17 (1): 265-280. 2013.
    The purpose of this paper is to examine the ontological effects of digital technology, and determine whether digital films, traditional films, and pre-traditional motion pictures belong to the same category. I begin by defining the parameters of my inquiry, and then consider the two most significant consequences of the new technology. §2 proposes a decisive refutation of the causal relationship between reality and photography. §3 identifies an end to the dominance of photorealistic film over ani…Read more
  •  78
    Making Sense of Moral Perception
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4): 745-758. 2015.
    The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Francis Hutcheson’s moral sense theory offers a satisfactory account of moral perception. I introduce Hutcheson’s work in §1 and indicate why the existence of a sixth sense is not implausible. I provide a summary of Robert Cowan and Robert Audi’s respective theories of evaluative perception in §2, identifying three problematic objections: the Directness Objection to Cowan’s ethical perception and the aesthetic and perceptual model objections to Au…Read more
  •  66
    Narrative Representation and Phenomenological Knowledge
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2): 327-342. 2016.
    The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that narrative representations can provide knowledge in virtue of their narrativity, regardless of their truth value. I set out the question in section 1, distinguishing narrative cognitivism from aesthetic cognitivism and narrative representations from non-narrative representations. Sections 2 and 3 argue that exemplary narratives can provide lucid phenomenological knowledge, which appears to meet both the epistemic and narrativity criteria for the na…Read more
  •  58
    Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema (review)
    British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1): 106-109. 2016.
  •  54
    Hutcheson's Idea of Beauty and the Doomsday Scenario
    Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 7 (1): 13-23. 2010.
    Francis Hutcheson is generally accepted as producing the first systematic study of aesthetics, in the first treatise of An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, initially published in 1725. His theory reflected the eighteenth century concern with beauty rather than art, and has drawn accusations of vagueness since the first critical response, by Charles Louis DeVillete in 1750. The most serious critique concerns the idea of beauty itself: whether it was simple or complex…Read more
  •  46
    Moderate Autonomism Revisited
    Ethical Perspectives 20 (3): 403-426. 2013.
    In this paper I propose a new argument for moderate autonomism. I call this the ‘critical argument’ to distinguish it from the empirical argument of James C. Anderson and Jeffrey T. Dean, and the no-error argument of James Harold. My strategy is to first employ the criticism of Matthew Arnold and F.R. Leavis to demonstrate the moralist failure to account for the complexity of the relationship between literature and morality, and then offer a more promising alternative. I set out the autonomis…Read more
  •  42
    Cinematic Philosophy: Experiential Affirmation in Memento
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (1): 57-66. 2014.
    This article demonstrates that Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000) meets both conditions of Paisley Livingston's bold thesis of cinema as philosophy. I delineate my argument in terms of Aaron Smuts's clarifications of Livingston's conditions. The results condition, which is concerned with the nature of the philosophical content, is developed in relation to Berys Gaut's conception of narrational confirmation, which I designate ‘experiential affirmation.’ Because experiential affirmation is a functi…Read more
  •  42
    Better No Longer to Be
    with E. Sullivan-Bissett
    South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1): 55-68. 2012.
    David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a harm, and that – for all of us unfortunate enough to have come into existence – it would be better had we never come to be. We contend that if one accepts Benatar’s arguments for the asymmetry between the presence and absence of pleasure and pain, and the poor quality of life, one must also accept that suicide is preferable to continued existence, and that his view therefore implies both anti-natalism and pro-mortalism. This conclusion …Read more
  •  33
    Review of The Animal Question in Deconstruction (review)
    Between the Species 18 (1): 106-110. 2015.
    Lynn Turner’s research focuses on the significance of species and sexual difference in culture and philosophy and her current work is especially concerned with the relationship between human and non-human animals. The Animal Question in Deconstruction is an exploration of this relationship in eleven essays, eight of which are new, two previously-published (in Nicholas Royle’s The Uncanny [2003] and Kelly Oliver’s Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment [2013]), and on…Read more
  •  33
    The Value of Literature
    Rowman & Littlefield International. 2016.
    The Value of Literature provides an original and compelling argument for the historical and contemporary significance of literature to humanity.
  •  31
    Minerva’s Night Out: Philosophy, Pop Culture, and Moving Pictures (review)
    British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (2): 252-255. 2015.
  •  31
    Literary Thickness
    British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (3): 343-360. 2015.
    In this paper, I shall demonstrate the value of the concept of literary thickness – i.e. form-content inseparability – as a tool of literary appreciation. I set out the relationships between non-fiction, fiction, literature, and poetry in Section 1 and sketch a preliminary definition of literary thickness in Section 2. I argue that a convincing account of reference in literary fictions can be provided by means of literary thickness in Sections 3 and 4. I argue that the match between authorial in…Read more
  •  30
    The problem of cinematic imagination
    Contemporary Aesthetics 10. 2012.
    The purpose of this paper is to twofold: to identify the problem of cinematic imagination, and then to propose a satisfactory solution. In §1 I analyse the respective claims of Dominic McIver Lopes and Roger Scruton, both of whom question the scope for imagination in film – when compared to other art forms – on the basis of its perceptual character. In order to address these concerns I develop a hybrid of Gregory Currie’s model of cinematic imagination and Kendall Walton’s theory of make-belie…Read more
  •  30
    Narrative Thickness
    Estetika 52 (1): 3-22. 2015.
    The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the experience of a literary narrative qua literary narrative is an experience of narrative thickness, that is, an experience in which narrative form and narrative content are inseparable. I explain my thesis of poetic thickness in § 1, showing why it does not admit of extension from poetry to literary narratives. §§ 2–3 synthesize the work of Derek Attridge and Peter Lamarque, advancing narrative thickness as a necessary condition of literary n…Read more
  •  27
    The War on Cops (review)
    Journal of Applied Philosophy. forthcoming.
    The War on Cops is a collection of previously-published essays by Heather Mac Donald, a public intellectual in the United States who belongs to the ‘small faction’ of secular conservatives (Mark Oppenheimer, “A Place on the Right for a Few Godless Conservatives”, New York Times, February 18, 2011). The essays are journalistic rather than academic, having appeared in the City Journal, National Review, New York Daily News, InsideSources, Wall Street Journal, and Weekly Standard, but the volume is…Read more
  •  24
    The Cognitive Value of Blade Runner
    Aesthetic Investigations 1 (2). 2015.
    The purpose of this essay is to argue that Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Ridley Scott, 2007) has cognitive value which is inseparable from its value as a work of cinema.  I introduce the cinematic philosophy debate in §1.  §2 sets out my position: that the Final Cut affirms the proposition there is no necessary relation between humanity and human beings.  I outline the combination of cinematic depiction with distinctive features of the narrative’s peripeteia in §3.  In §4, I explain the cognitive…Read more
  •  23
    Narrative, Emotion, and Insight edited by carroll, noël and john gibson (review)
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (3): 319-321. 2012.
  •  21
    A Critique of the Value Interaction Debate
    British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (4): 449-466. 2014.
    The purpose of this article is to show that the value interaction debate is deeply flawed and constitutes a superficial analysis of the relationship between morality and art. I introduce the debate, which concerns whether a moral defect in a work of art is an aesthetic defect, in Section 1. Section 2 establishes the vagueness of two key terms in the discussion, _moral defects_ and _aesthetic defects_. In Section 3, I introduce the naive assumption-uninteresting claim disjunction, identifying fiv…Read more
  •  21
    Introduction: The Analytic Engagement with Continental Philosophy
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3): 307-311. 2014.
    This Special Issue of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies originates from ‘A Dangerous Liaison? The Analytic Engagement with Continental Philosophy’, a conference held at the University of York on 9th December 2011 courtesy of the support of The Mind Association, the Aristotelian Society, and the Humanities Research Centre. There were four invited speakers, each with a respondent, and two graduate speakers, with papers presented by four of the six article authors in this volume. …Read more
  •  16
    Cinematic Realism: A Defence from Plato to Gaut
    British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (3): 225-239. 2018.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend a particular kind of cinematic realism, anti-illusionism, which is the thesis that cinematic motion is real. Following a brief introduction to realism and cinema in Section 1, I analyse Berys Gaut’s taxonomy of cinematic realism and define anti-illusionism in Section 2. Section 3 contrasts the anti-illusionist theories of Gregory Currie and Trevor Ponech with the illusionist theories of Andrew Kania and Gaut. I reconceptualize the debate in terms of Tom Gun…Read more
  •  16
    Towards the end of the twentieth century, the issue of collaboration with the Third Reich became particularly problematic for deconstructive criticism. The distinction between collaboration and cooperation is often far from clear, however, and in borderline cases the opacity of the motives behind the alleged collaboration may be such that retrospective historical judgements run the risk of appearing arbitrary. In contrast, the decision to remain silent about alleged collaboration can – and sho…Read more
  •  15
    Poetic Thickness
    British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (1): 49-64. 2014.
    The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the experience of a poem qua poem is an experience of poetic thickness , i.e. an experience in which poetic form and poetic content are inseparable. I present a critical analysis of A. C. Bradley’s ‘Poetry for Poetry’s Sake’ lecture in Section 1, indicating both the strengths and weaknesses of his conception of resonant meaning. Section 2 draws on subsequent work by I. A. Richards and Peter Lamarque to advance my account of the relationship in q…Read more
  •  13
    The Ethical Value of Narrative Representation
    Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 4 (1): 57-74. 2017.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend a deflationary account of the ethical value of narrative representation. In sections 1 and 2 I demonstrate that there is a necessary relation between narrative representation and ethical value, but not between narrative representation and moral value. Ethical is conceived in terms of moral as opposed to amoral and moral in terms of moral as opposed to immoral and the essential value of narrative representation is restricted to the former. Recently, both the…Read more
  •  13
    Language, Truth, and Literature: A Defence of Literary Humanism (review)
    British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (3): 381-384. 2014.
  •  9
    To Protect and Serve (review)
    Policing. forthcoming.
    To Protect and Serve is Norm Stamper’s second book, following Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing (2005), and is a welcome contribution to the debate between those who advocate violence against the police and those who insist that no reform is necessary. Radley Balko’s The Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (2013) inadvertently provided the context of the civil unrest in Ferguson ignited by the shooting of Michael Brown in …Read more
  •  9
    Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics affords a much-needed and long-awaited addition to the literature on Frantz Fanon, an exhaustive study of the least-known aspect of his short but remarkable life, his psychiatric practice and publications. The monograph is co-authored by Nigel C. Gibson and Roberto Beneduce, with a foreword by Alice Cherki and translations by Lisa Damon. Gibson is a leading Fanon scholar, jointly responsible for the appropriation of Fanon’s oeuvre by postcolonial studies in …Read more